ClientEarth, a charitable organisation of lawyers, said it will launch the world’s first legal challenge over the climate-related financial risks of a new Polish coal plant.
Polish energy company Enea is to build the €1.2 billion Ostroleka C coal power plant, but ClientEarth, a shareholder in Enea, said that the new plant poses an indefensible financial risk due to rising carbon prices, competition from cheaper renewables and the impact of EU energy reforms on state subsidies for coal power. ClientEarth lawyer, Peter Barnett, said: “This plant is a stranded asset in the making. The economic analysis is clear and there is widespread market concern about the plant. Companies and their directors are legally responsible for managing the financial risks and opportunities posed by climate change.”
Asset manager Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) has expressed opposition to the coal plant. LGIM head of sustainability and responsible investment strategy, Meryam Omi, commented: “We don’t believe the companies should proceed with this project until they can provide us with reassuring evidence of its financial viability and the role it will play in meeting the energy security and the carbon targets in Poland and Europe.”